Skip to main content

tv   European Journal  LINKTV  February 20, 2014 7:30am-8:01am PST

7:30 am
>> hello and a very warm welcome to "european journal post quote coming to you from dw studios in brussels. good to have you with us. here's what we have for you in this edition -- spain -- why a princess had to appear in court. ukraine -- how pro-europe protests are spreading. and romania -- on the hunt for smugglers. tax fraud is not a trivial
7:31 am
offense. tax dodgers are criminals in the eyes of the law even if they are famous. it is as simple as that. but of course, we all take a very close look whenever celebrities are caught outlining their own pockets. in spain, the monarchy has just been battered by another scandal because for the first time, a princess is a formal suspect in a corruption inquiry. and since christina, the youngest daughter of the king, had to appear in court over alleged money-laundering and tax evasion -- princess christina. her husband is accused of embezzlement of public funds. judges have to decide if they will press formal charges against the princess. >> a reporter for spain's largest daily joins around 400 other journalists, all waiting for the big moment -- the arrival of the daughter of the spanish king.
7:32 am
they want to know just how blind love can be. until now, she has kept silent on the corruption scandal surrounding her husband, but now, she has been called to testify in court. >> this is a historic moment for spain. never before has a member of the royal family had to testify in court like a normal citizen. >> her royal title is duchess of parma, and it's there she is to appear in court. the capital of the island where spain's royal family often spend their summer holidays. mallorca is also where her husband is alleged to have run operations that first raised suspicions. in 2005, here arranged a meeting of highly placed figures in this convention hotel for the declared purpose of starting a nonprofit foundation promoting tourism and sports.
7:33 am
as its president, he collected millions of euros in public funding. >> theoretically, it was a good concept, but experts say it was not worth 1.2 million euros. >> the former handball star is accused of funding a total of over 5 million euros in public funds through the false foundation into his own pocket. as his partner, the princess also profited. she is said to refuse the money to finance birthday parties, dance lessons, and a renovation in her apartment. the husband of the king's cousin defends the princess, saying it's credible that she signed the contracts without knowing what they were and in fact knew nothing of her husband's shady deals. besides, he points out that the couple are by no means alone. >> this has always been the normal way of doing things in spain. couples and friends will start a
7:34 am
little company because they pay less in taxes than they would as private citizens. if it is proven that he used this method, he will have to pay for it. >> but was the princess really blind to what was going on? protesters say that's nothing but a defense tactic. the public suspects she is getting the royal treatment. she had already been subpoenaed once, but the public prosecutor saved her from having to testify. >> unfortunately, there's no justice. we are not all equal. the princess is handled with kid gloves. there's no way she will go to prison. >> our democracy is just a façade. the people do not have any real means of controlling the workings of the state. >> spain's royal house has always been literally unimpeachable. ideal conditions for corruption.
7:35 am
this generalist is sure that is over and done with now -- this journalist. >> this case has resulted in greater transparency with the king. he has opened up his books and sources of income, and the royal family has excluded the princess from protocol. >> with their image crumbling, the royal family had little choice. the majority of young spaniards now oppose keeping the monarchy. they don't like seeing their king go off to hunt elephants in africa while his country languishes in a deep financial crisis. this street name is one indication of how hard the royal family's image has been hit. it was named after the prince and princess, but then it was changed last year. fernando bemoans what he sees as the ingratitude of many spaniards. he says king juan carlos
7:36 am
liberated span from the franco dictatorship, among other things -- liberated spain from the franco dictatorship. >> the question is not if we should abolish the monarchy and establish a republic. the question is if we are free, if we've got democracy. i think we are free and democratic, no matter what problems we are dealing with now . >> andreas nozick is for the monarchy, such as the continuity the unchanging head of state brings to the country, but the king might also be called upon to be a crisis manager. >> the new generation, probably about half the population, does not have these emotional ties to spain's road to democracy. they say nowadays the king has to prove himself every single day. >> readers are asking if the duchess really knew nothing of her husband's dealings.
7:37 am
now it's up to the judge to decide whether to put the princess on trial, one of the hardest decisions he is ever likely to make. >> in ukraine, a position against the government continues to grow. the testers have been out on the street since november, especially in the capital, kiev. the movement has been named after the capital cost independence square, which has been the focus of the biggest protests. the activists are fighting for a democratic more european ukraine, and they want the president to resign, but he has been taking a tough stance. several people have been killed in clashes, promoting more public anger and not just in kiev. people strongly support what they call their revolution. >> protesters sing the ukrainian national anthem on the main
7:38 am
square in western ukraine. demonstrations have been taking place every day since november. demonstrations for a better future. people hop and yell, "anyone who does not yell is" a nasty word for a russian. the ousted the governor tom a a close ally of viktor yanukovych. -- they ousted the governor, a close ally of resident viktor yanukovych. they forced him to sign the letter, and later he tried to take it back, saying he had only signed under duress. it was no use, the protesters would not let him back into the building. they had set up barricades. >> at first, the governor ignored us. eventually, he realized we would not just go away. then the governor signed his resignation, and from that time on, he was no longer governor. >> they let our camera team inside the building. the atmosphere is calm and then
7:39 am
that outside. the opposition team takes a few minutes to talk to us. >> we want direct power for the people. when people have lost their rights, one always remains -- the right to rise up. >> i'm staying here until the end, until we win. our idea and the truth will triumph. the world supports us. the powers that be no longer hear the signals. god is helping us because together we are strong. >> glory to ukraine. >> nearby, the regional parliament is holding a special session. there's only one item on the agenda -- their own resignations. they are handing the reins of power over to the protesters in the form of a council of the people. >> the people cannot be stopped. we have risen not -- risen up, and we will not it must not be stopped. force can only be met by force. there is no other way.
7:40 am
together we are strong. >> students are also getting involved, forming up in front of police headquarters and demanding that the police commissioner step down. the banners say they won't forget the victims and won't forget the henchmen. three officers came out and talked to the mass of students for several hours in the cold, but they reached no agreement. soldiers' mothers blockaded to keep their sons from being sent to the capital. they set up barricades and were prepared to fight when the soldiers came out. >> they tried to break through the barricade. we mothers stop them. we smashed the windows of their buses and punctured their tires. they threatened to shoot us if we came in, so we are staying out here and not letting them out.
7:41 am
>> on the outskirts, another building has been barricaded. a home improvement store. it's part of a big chain. the protesters explain why they are here. >> yanukovych's son owns this home improvement store, and it's not the only one in town. that man is a billionaire at age 40, and i've been working for decades and have nothing. we have to take everything away from those bandits. this is the end for yanukovych. we don't want this president anymore. >> a sign says people can sign up here for departures to the main protest camp in tf -- kiev. in other words, register his new protesters. every region is trying to send its quota. they say new protesters every few days. the trip costs about eight euros.
7:42 am
the buses set out for the capital after sunset. it's a 12 hour drive. they arrived early the next morning. >> we have to do this revolution ourselves. nobody is doing it for us. not europe, not the usa, definitely not russia. this is our job. >> in the old jesuit church, protesters collect medicines of all kinds and cold remedies to painkillers and drugs for heart nations. the local society for the preservation of monuments is collecting warm blankets, sleeping bags, bullet-proof vest, and shinguards. nobody will say where they got the 250 brand-new gas masks. the helmets are meant to protect demonstrators against batons. one of the fatalities was a man from the veep.
7:43 am
he was abducted by the notorious militia, severely beaten and left in a forest. he froze to death. emotions ran high at his funeral. the over 10,000 mourners had a message for the authorities -- they are not going to accept president yanukovych's stalling tactics anymore. they are not giving up. the clock cannot be turned back. the protesters are prepared to keep up the fight. >> as we just saw in that report, eastern europe especially is still in the grip of winter, and many of us across europe cannot wait for the days to finally become longer than the nights again. we thought this was a good time to take a look at how nocturnal life awakens on our continent after dusk. in our new series "europe by night. in the first installment, we
7:44 am
take you to the border region between ukraine and romania. border police are particularly busy at night. the smugglers come to life when the sun goes down, and they carry out their criminal activities. >> after a two-hour chase, romanian border police have seized 2000 packets of ukrainian cigarettes. but it's not much of a catch. the pursuit began in ukraine and continued through the romanian forest before the smugglers finally cut their losses and lead empty-handed -- fled empty-handed. it's just a regular night on the border region between the two countries. >> smuggling is commonplace here. the smugglers took advantage of the darkness, and the dense forest, to get away. but we stay close, and we try to
7:45 am
identify them. >> half an hour later on the other side of the mountain, the police pick up one of the two men believed to have been in the forest. he lives in a village on the romanian border. the whole area is notorious for smuggling activity. >> it wasn't me. i was not with them. this time, it wasn't me. >> what were you doing in the forest that this our? nobody goes to cut down would at this time of night and comes back empty handed -- nobody goes to cut down wood at this time of night. >> the sniffer dog leaves no
7:46 am
doubt that the young man was one of the two carrying the cigarettes. the other one got away. using infrared cameras financed by the european union, officials watch over the border by the eastern carpathian mountains. the mountains, like the border river are becoming increasingly popular smuggling routes, and those doing the smuggling even started using diverse and hang gliders to ensure the safe passage of their goods into romania. their activities cost european union countries an estimated 10 billion euros in lost tax revenue, said the investment in surveillance equipment quickly pays off. >> we have two of these devices for a 39-kilometer stretch. in good weather, we can see as far as five kilometers.
7:47 am
>> but the infrared cameras cannot be used everywhere. particularly tough for the border police are the dense forest areas, which smugglers know like the backs of their hands. many are part of the ukrainian minority in romania and have relations on the other side of the border. >> we are definitely understaffed, and we do not have the situation under control. we do not even know when and where they will appear. they are really well organized and even sent people ahead to cross the border without any goods. >> we are talking about digg sums of money. we cannot begin to guess how much is turned over here alone. >> we head to the romanian district capital. buying smuggled goods here is not hard. dozens of people sell the cigarettes in the border town.
7:48 am
we film a transaction using a hidden camera. >> cigarettes? cigarettes? >> what are you selling? how much the two packs? >> 2 euros 60. >> they cost less than half the price of legally sold cigarettes . in western europe, the pack is six times more expensive. even when smuggled goods are discovered, not much happens because most of them are produced illegally in china, russia, and ukraine. the brands are either forged or simply made up. we show the two packets we bought in the district capital to the district police.
7:49 am
>> every brand has a codename. we know from tapped phone calls that red packets like this one are known as red paprika is -- red paprikas. >> authorities are doing what they can to stop the smuggling, and that includes tapping suspected smugglers' phones. >> listen up -- i need a big delivery of red paprikas. bring them over, and you can earn 200 euros and a single might. >> the eu is planning to take further action and issue every packet of cigarettes with an inspection tag that would make it possible to trace the path of goods from production to sail. but the romanian police officers are not convinced. they expect to be spending their nights chasing those involved in
7:50 am
one of europe's most profitable smuggling businesses for some time to come. >> the debate on freedom of movement is in full swing here in europe. in these times of economic crisis, many fear competition on the labor market, and switzerland added fuel to the fire after a referendum to curb the number of eu citizens allowed to work in the country won a majority. other european countries like britain and some parts of germany would also like to limit immigration, but they are bound by eu rules, unlike switzerland, which is not a european union member, but pressure is growing within the eu, and last year, belgium expelled more eu citizens than ever before. >> these are images from happier times for sylvia. the italian musician and actress was performing the dinner tango, a piece at expresses her zest
7:51 am
for life -- a piece that expresses her zest for life. not too long ago, things were going well. she had a job that was partly funded by the department of social services, as is often the case for artists in belgium, but suddenly, that became a problem. at the end of last year, belgian authorities informed her, she is to be extradited back to italy for unjustly drawing social benefits. >> the expulsion notice came out of the blue. i had no idea that could happen and had just one month to react. if i had known something like this could happen, i would likely have been able to come up with a better response. >> she came to belgium three years ago to participate in an art project and decided to stay. now she feels like an outcast. she had always assumed that all
7:52 am
eu citizens were entitled to live and work anywhere in the european union, and that's true, but in the view of belgium's foreigners office, not at the expense of the belgian taxpayer. two years ago, the country's social services department began sharing data with the interior ministry. since then, the number of extraditions has risen sharply. >> our practices have changed. it's important to note that even eu law foresees social assistance only being provided in certain cases. not everyone has the automatic right to social benefits. there was a loophole in our laws which has now been closed. >> last year, some 2500 eu citizens lost their belgian residency permits and were told to leave the country. this hard-line approach is popular in belgium.
7:53 am
the secretary of asylum immigration is one of the country's most popular politicians. she will not give interviews about the expulsions, but her positions are clear. >> i apply the rules and laws, and people like that. >> belgium's politicians are also responding to citizen' fears about tourism, which has become a hot topic within the eu . wealthy member states worry they will be overrun with poor immigrants from eastern europe. populists keep stirring up fears of mass migration, but that is simply not the case. sylvia's lawyer fears belgium's extradition policies go too far. >> we are encountering increasingly restrictive policies towards foreigners. that's very regrettable. slowly but surely, it's the beginnings of a witchhunt against foreigners. >> but belgium's interior
7:54 am
ministry denies such allegations. it says no one is being expelled automatically. careful checks are made and favorable consideration taken. >> our policy is to view each case individually. that means we look at the social situation, the family situation, and the number of years this person has been in belgium. >> the court will decide whether that really happened in sylvia's case. until then, her expulsion has been deferred. she feels too little is said about how belgian benefits from the many eu citizens have settled there. some 780,000 in total. and she does not want to be part of the 0.3% who are now to be expelled. >> i think the belgian state is violating the basic tenets of european citizenship, and one of them is freedom of movement.
7:55 am
my case or my extradition is not the problem. it's about what it means for our common rights as eu citizens. >> in two more years, sylvia would have qualified for permanent residency in belgium. now her status is up in the air. instead of singing the blues, she says she is ready to fight. >> that report wraps up this edition of european journal -- of "european journal." thanks for joining us. do join us next week if you can. until then, auf wiedersehen and bye for now. captioned by the national captioning institute
7:56 am
7:57 am
7:58 am
7:59 am
8:00 am
02/20/14 02/20/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! some bodies are the concert hall, some are the barricade, now there may be around 15 to 20 dead. it is hard to count. as far as i know, three dead people are at the city hall and two more dead are the main post office. there are so many at the concert hall, we do not even take them. >> kiev looks like


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on